Attorney-Client Fee Agreement (Contingency Fee + Expenses)
The Law Office of Robert C. Matz UP ("Attorney") and [Client] ("Client") hereby agree
that Attorney will provide representation and/ or legal services to Client on the terms and conditions
set forth below.
1. Conditions. This Agreement will not take effect, and Attorney will have no obligation to
provide representation or legal services, until Client returns a signed copy of this Agreement
and pays the initial deposit called for under Paragraph 4.
2. Scope of Services. Client is hiring Attorney to represent Client in the matter of the client's
claims against [and possibly others as future investigation may
indicate], arising out of , which occurred on or about _
If a court action is filed on behalf of Client, Attorney will represent Client until a settlement
or judgment, by way of arbitration, mediation, or trial, is reached. Attorney will oppose any
motion for a new trial or any other post-trial motions filed by an opposing party, or will
make appropriate post-trial motions on Client's behalf. After judgment, Attorney will not
represent Client on any appeal, or in any proceeding to execute on the judgment, unless
Client and Attorney agree that Attorney will provide such services and also agree upon
additional fees, if any, to be paid to Attorney for such services. Services in any matter not
described above will require a separate written agreement.
Client shall pay all court costs, filing fees, jury fees, witness fees, expert witness fees, and
security deposits required to prosecute or defend any court action.
3. Responsibilities of the Parties. Attorney will provide those legal services reasonably
required to represent Client in prosecuting the claims described in Paragraph 2 and will take
reasonable steps to keep Client informed of progress and developments, and to respond
reasonably promptly to inquiries and communications. Client agrees to be truthful with
Attorney, to cooperate with Attorney, to keep Attorney informed of any information or
developments which may come to Client's attention, to abide by this Agreement, to pay
Attorney's bills for costs and expenses within thirty (30) days of remittance, and to keep
Attorney advised of Client's address, telephone number, e-mail address, and whereabouts.
Client will assist Attorney in providing necessary information and documents and will appear
when necessary at court, arbitral proceedings, mediation, depositions, or other legal
4. Legal Fees. Attorney will only be compensated for legal services rendered if a recovery is
obtained for Client. If no recovery is obtained, Client will be obligated to pay only for costs,
disbursements, and expenses, as described in Paragraph 6.
The fee to be paid to Attorney will be a percentage of the "net recovery," depending on the
stage at which the settlement or judgment is reached. The term "net recovery" means: (1)
the total of all amounts to be received by settlement, arbitration award, or judgment,
including any award of attorneys' fees, (2) minus all costs and disbursements set forth in
Attorney's fee shall be calculated as follows:
(i) If the matter is resolved before filing a lawsuit or formal initiation of proceedings,
then Attorney's fee will be 25%.
(ii) If the matter is resolved only after Attorney takes or defends a deposition, then
Attorney's fee will be 35%.
(ill) If the matter is resolved within 100 days of the trial date, then Attorney's fee will be
In the event of Attorney's discharge or withdrawal as provided in Paragraph 11, Client
agrees that, upon payment of the settlement, arbitration award, or judgment in Client's favor
in this matter, Attorney shall be entitled to be paid by Client a reasonable fee for the legal
services provided. Such fee shall be determined by considering the following factors:
(1) The actual number of hours expended by Attorney in performing legal services
for the Client;
(2) Attorney's hourly rates;
(3) The extent to which Attorney's services have contributed to the result obtained;
(4) The amount of the fee in proportion to the valued of the services performed;
(5) The amount of recovery obtained;
(6) Time limitations imposed on Attorney by Client or by the circumstances; and
(7) The experience, reputation, and ability of personnel performing the services.
5. Negotiability of Fees. The rates set forth above are not set by law, but are negotiable
between an attorney and client.
6. Costs and Litigation Expenses. Attorney will incur various costs and expenses in
performing legal services under this Agreement. Client agrees to pay for all costs,
disbursements, and expenses paid or owed by Client in connection with this matter, or
which have been advanced by Attorney on Client's behalf and which have not been
previously paid or reimbursed by Attorney. Costs, disbursements, and litigation expenses
commonly include, service of process charges, filing fees, court and deposition reporters'
and/ or videographer's fees, jury fees, notary fees, messenger and other delivery fees,
specialized legal research fees, deposition costs, long distance telephone charges, postage,
express mail, photocopying, and other reproduction costs, travel costs, including parking,
mileage, transportation, meals and hotel costs, investigation expenses, consultant's fees,
expert witness, professional, mediator, arbitrator, and/or special master fees, and other
similar items. All costs and expenses will be charged at Attorney's cost with copies of
receipts and invoices provided to Client within 30 days of request, except for in-office
photocopying, which is .20 cents per page.
Client understands that, as set forth in Paragraph 7 below, a deposit for costs may be
required before the expenditure is made by Attorney.
To aid in the preparation or presentation of Client's case, it may become necessary to hire
expert witnesses, consultants, or investigators. Client agrees to separately retain and pay for
any fees and charges for these services. Attorney will select, in consultation with Client, any
expert witnesses, consultants, or investigators to be hired.
Client agrees to pay transportation, meals, lodging, and all other costs for any necessary out-
of-town by Attorney's legal personnel.
Attorney shall obtain Client's consent before incurring any costs in excess of $ _
If an award of fees and/or costs is sought on Client's behalf in this action, Client
understands that the amount which the court may order as fees and/or costs is the amount
the court believes the party is entitled to recover, and does not determine what fees and/ cor
costs Attorney is entitled to charge Client or that only the fees and/or costs allowed were
reasonable. Client agrees that, whether or not attorneys' fees or cost are awarded by the
court in Client's case, Client will remain responsible for the payment, in full, of all attorneys'
fees and costs in accordance with this Agreement.
Additionally, Client understands and agrees that if the matter proceeds to court action,
arbitration, or mediation, Client may be required to pay fees and/or costs of the other
parties in the action. Any such payment shall be the sole responsibility of the Client.
7. Deposit. Client agrees to pay Attorney an initial deposit of $ , to be returned with
this signed Agreement. Attorney will hold this initial deposit, as well as any future deposits,
in a trust account on Client's behalf. Client authorizes Attorney to use funds deposited in
this trust account to pay the costs, disbursements, and other expenses incurred under this
When the deposit is exhausted, Attorney, at his sole discretion, may choose to simply
forward invoices/billing statements for costs, expenses, and disbursements to Client, which
are to be paid by Client within thirty (30) days of remittance. Attorney reserves the right,
however, to require further deposits before any further costs or expenses are incurred.
Once a trial, arbitration, or mediation date is set, Attorney shall provide Client with an
invoice/billing statement for all costs, fees, expenses, and disbursement then due and owing,
as well as those costs, fees, and expenses expected to be incurred in preparing for and
completing the trial, arbitration, or mediation, as well as any jury fees, arbitration fees,
mediation fees, or any other costs or expenses likely to be assessed or incurred. To the
extent these fees exceed Client's deposit, Client shall make an additional deposit to cover
these fees and costs.
Client agrees to pay all deposits after the initial deposit within 20 days of Attorney's request.
Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, any unused deposit will be refunded to Client at the
conclusion of the Attorney's services.
8. Monthly Billing Statements. Attorney will send Client monthly billing statements for
costs, disbursements, and expenses incurred in connection with this matter. Each statement
shall be payable within 15 days of its mailing, unless these fees and costs are being
withdrawn by Attorney from the Client's deposit into the trust account.
9. Approval Necessary for Settlement. Attorney will not make any settlement or
compromise of any nature of any of Client's claims without Client's prior approval. Client
retains the absolute right to accept or reject any settlement. Client agrees to consider in
good faith any settlement offer Attorney recommends before making a decision to accept or
reject such offer. Client agrees not to make any settlement or compromise of any nature of
any of Client's claims without prior notice to Attorney.
10. Limitation of Representation. Attorney is representing Client only on the matter
described in Paragraph 2. Attorney's representation does not include independent or related
matters that may arise, including, among other things, claims for property damage, workers'
compensation, disputes with a health care provider about the amount owed for their
services, or claims for reimbursement (subrogation) by any insurance company for benefits
paid under an insurance policy.
This Agreement also does not include defending Client against, or representing Client in any
claims that may be asserted against Client as a cross-claim or counter-claim in Client's case.
This Agreement does not apply to any other legal matters. If any such matters arise later,
Attorney and Client will either negotiate a separate agreement if Client and Attorney agree
that Attorney will perform such additional legal work or Client will engage separate counsel
with respect to the cross-claim or counter-claim or additional legal work.
11. Discharge and Withdrawal. Client may discharge Attorney at any time, upon written
notice to Attorney. Attorney may withdraw from representation of Client (a) with Client's
consent, (b) upon court approval, or (c) if no court action has been filed, for good cause.
Good cause includes Client's breach of this Agreement, refusal to cooperate or to follow
Attorney's advice on a material matter or any fact or circumstance that would render
Attorney's continuing representation unlawful or unethical.
Notwithstanding Attorney's withdrawal or Client's notice of discharge, and without regard to
the reasons for the withdrawal or discharge, Client will remain obligated to pay Attorney for
all costs incurred prior to the termination and, in the event there is any net recovery obtained
by Client after the conclusion of Attorney's services, Client remains obligated to pay
Attorney the reasonable value of all services rendered from the effective date of this
Agreement to the date of discharge.
12. Conclusion of Services. When Attorney's services conclude, all unpaid charges will
immediately become due and payable. Attorney is authorized to use any funds held in
Attorney's trust account as a deposit against costs to apply to such unpaid charges. After
services conclude, Attorney will, upon Client's request, deliver Client's file and any property
in Attorney's possession unless subject to the lien provided for in Paragraph 8 above,
whether or not Client has paid for all services
13. Lien. Client hereby grants Attorney a lien on any and all claims or causes of action that are
the subject of the representation under this Agreement. Attorney's lien will be for any sums
owing to Attorney for any unpaid costs or attorneys' fees, at the conclusion of Attorney's
services. The lien will attach to any recovery Client may obtain, whether by arbitration
award, judgment, settlement, or otherwise. The effect of such a lien is that Attorney may be
able to compel payment of fees and costs from any such funds recovered on behalf of Client
even if Attorney has been discharged before the end of the case. Because a lien may affect
Client's property rights, Client may seek the advice of an independent attorney of Client's
choice before agreeing to such a lien. By signing this paragraph, Client represents and agrees
that Client has had a reasonable opportunity to consult with an independent attorney and -
whether or not Client has chosen to actually consult with such an independent attorney -
Client agrees that Attorney will have a lien, as specified above.
(Client Signature) (Attorney Signature)
Print Name Robert C. Matz
14. Receipt of Proceeds. All proceeds of Client's case shall be deposited into Attorney's trust
account for disbursement in accordance with this Agreement.
1S. Disclaimer of Guarantee and Estimates. Nothing in this Agreement and nothing in
Attorney's statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the
outcome of the matter. Attorney makes no such promises or guarantees. There can be no
assurance that Client will recover any sum or sums in this matter. Attorneys comments
about the outcome of this matter; any such statements are expressions of opinion only. Any
estimate of expenses and costs given by Attorney shall not be a guarantee. Actual expenses
and costs may vary from estimates given.
16. Entire Agreement. This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties. No other
agreement, statement, or promise made on or prior to the effective date of this agreement
will be binding on the parties.
17. Severability in Event of Partial Invalidity. If any provision of this Agreement is held in
whole or in part to be unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of that provision and of
the entire Agreement will be severable and remain in effect.
18. Modification by Subsequent Agreement. This agreement may be modified by
subsequent agreement of the parties only by an instrument in writing signed by both of
them, or an oral agreement only to the extent that both parties carry it out.
19. Effective Date. This Agreement will govern all legal services performed by Attorney on
behalf of Client commencing with the date the Attorney first performed services (other than
an initial consultation, which is free). The date at the beginning of this Agreement is for
reference only. Even if this Agreement does not take effect, Client will be obligated to pay
Attorney the reasonable value of any services Attorney may have performed for Client, other
than an initial consultation, which is free.
20. Choice of Law. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed under the laws of the
State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of laws principles.
21. Forum Selection. The parties hereby submit to the personal jurisdiction of, and agree that
any legal proceeding with respect to or arising under this Agreement shall be brought in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California or the state courts of the
State of California for the County of Alameda.
THE PARTIES HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE FOREGOING TERMS AND
AGREE TO THEM AS OF THE DATE ATTORNEY FIRST PROVIDED SERVICES. IF
MORE THAN ONE CLIENT SIGNS BELOW, EACH AGREES TO BE JOINTLY AND
SEVERALLY LIABLE FOR ALL OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS AGREEMENT. CLIENT
SHALL RECEIVE A FULLY EXECUTED COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT.
Dated: _ The Law Office of Robert C. Matz LLP
Robert C. Matz, Principal